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Looking for employment opportunities is so easy to do today. Whether you’re just checking what’s being offered elsewhere or looking for a job, the internet is the most convenient way to do it. For example, searching for vacant work positions will yield hundreds of results. However, this convenience also comes with its pitfalls.
The proliferation of Fake Job Ads
While legitimate job opportunities are available online, multiple shady job ads prey on people’s vulnerabilities. They hide behind the anonymity of the web to prey on innocent people and profit from their misfortune. Unfortunately, local job boards and online classified ads are not spared from unscrupulous individuals.
Bogus Jobs Warning Signs
Identifying fake work opportunities may not be easy. Sometimes, your economic needs blind you from seeing the scam staring you in the eyes. However, before becoming a victim, you must know the “red flags” in job ads.
1. Too easy to be true
Specific job posts can sound too easy to be true. You will learn from experience that they sound unrealistic and may list a few simple mundane skills. They could be posted merely to harvest your CV. Beware. You can call the person in the job ad to speak to him and get more details about the client or job description. Even after multiple attempts, if his colleague still tells him, they are in a meeting or busy talking to someone, this is an alarm bell. Such a person advertised in the ad as a contact person may not exist at all.
Fake jobs are often unclear about their guidelines compared to legitimate job postings. They post broad and general job titles like “secretary”, “customer relations officer”, “liaison personnel”, or “admin trainee/assistant.” You can see mind-boggling enticements like, “A pioneering and successful international commodities trading company is looking for (position).” It is noticeable that they don’t name the company looking for employees.
3. Lack of verifiable information
Fake job postings usually don’t have company addresses, telephone numbers, or other contact information. You will often see an email address to which you will send your résumé or CV. Do not, in any way, send out your personal information to say emails, as these are more likely CV harvesting entities. These agencies or people collect personal data for their benefit and never for the applicant’s gain. Such people sell the personal data of applicants for money, mainly without the applicant’s knowledge. Further, do not share sensitive information like bank account numbers or credit card details.
4. Money is involved
This is where fake job ads get nasty. If you chance upon a job post requiring you to pay a certain fee, back off immediately. The charge may be a membership fee, a test payment, or an outright offer to buy a product. Any legitimate work does not ask applicants to pay anything.
5. Unbelievable offers
“Earn $300 per day working at home” or “no experience required” is prevalent in many fake job ads. They bank on people’s gullibility or desperation. Some even offer salaries that are way beyond the norm. Again, here’s where the saying “too good to be true” is most applicable.
6 . Poor job descriptions
As employers expect candidates to write relevant cover letters and an excellent descriptive CV, so do the candidates. A poorly written job description that does not give specific details indicates a lazy and lousy employer, or there could be high attrition rates as a result of which the hiring manager is ‘bored’ to change the job description to suit the exact candidate profile they are looking to hire for a role. Ignore such advertisements. Do not believe in any emails that are not from official email ids.
7 . Bait-and-Switch Tactics
Some job ads state a position available but will offer a different one once the interview commences. This is usually used to lure unsuspecting job seekers to do tasks like re-packaging purchased merchandise and sending them off to other locations.
Protecting yourself from vultures
Knowing possible work scams is one of the best ways to safeguard yourself from dodgy job posts. Before sending out any personal information, send an email inquiring about the job details and the hiring process. More often than not, you will discover if the job is legitimate based on the reply you will receive. An immediate reaction that says “we reviewed your application” or “we had received your CV” when you didn’t send one is also a warning sign.
It is easy to say that the best way to look for work is to search for legitimate job opportunities. So how can you go about it?
1. Identify businesses in your area or vicinity. Visit their websites and look for a section often tagged as “Careers”. They often include the information in that section if they have job vacancies. Similarly, you can search for companies whose business is in your field of expertise. You can also visit the careers section of the companies you wish to work for directly. This way, you can avoid multiple futile interview calls.
2. Ask for referrals from family, friends, and acquaintances of possible job openings. Find out as much detail about the position as possible. Then, come prepared with your CV and be ready for a possible on-the-spot interview.
3. Take to professional networking media like LinkedIn. Try to connect to someone who knows someone in the target company or the recruiter, at least. They will give you more information about the work culture, hiring pattern, career opportunities or even things to be careful about, like undisclosed job requirements like travelling, unrealistic sales targets and so on.
Are fake job ads a big problem?
Only 17% of undergraduates know about online fraud. Gen Z’s knowledge of the technologies makes them more sensitive to work scams. Young candidates are most susceptible to scams, according to SAFERjob.com. What kind of crimes is likely to result if a person dies while still being harmed? Why? Some younger people. Only 17 per cent of students understand job fraud.
Is it illegal to post fake job ads?
Actual job advertisements are illegal, but proving them as fake is difficult. Scammers often request payment via e-money in an anonymous way — digital cash that won’t leave a transaction trail. Advanced fee fraud is a little easier to find, but even this has become a more complex problem due to electronically generated dollars. It’s the word against their word, and every form of questioning could easily be ignored with ‘we’re hiring ‘or ‘We’ve had a vacancy but couldn’t find anyone for the role.’
Job scams and crime
SAFERjobs reported £500,000-plus frauds between September 2015 and September 2016. Amongst the targets are 18–24-year-olds who have, on average lost £4,000 of income. Another way criminals manifest are to essentially ‘hire out’ people for money laundering purposes. Over 15% of Britain has witnessed this type of advert. The concept is that people are ordered to accept money and deposit it in another bank account. It tends to have been obtained by dodging means and then transferred.
Why do people post fake job ads?
Although it might sound absurd that so-called accurate adverts exist, there is nowhere to escape them. So, why do people post jobs without seeking their dream job? Why, then, do people advertise?
The illusion of a fair process
The most recent study suggests online job deflation remains a concern among students. Even though they already make their opinions, such companies may make public their position to provide the impression of fair and open races. It would appear to me in a desperate bid to calm both employers and candidates in time for the company’s nephew sashay’s opening. For all the tech savoriness of Gen Z, only 17 % of students have any experience with job fraud. Job fraud is often attributed to nepotism or favours rather than someone unsuitable for the task.
To assess the market.
Often, employers don’t know the correct answer because they may dip their toe into the pool of vacancies, staff members, and potential replacement candidates. Employers also check out salaries or learn new qualifications. While not justified, it allows employers to view the standard of the candidate market without the burden of choosing from it.
To collect CVs
Nothing goes forever — even the best people. Change of circumstances or retirement may result in hiring drives. Placing fake job advertising allows employers to prepare their CVs and apply for the position. In addition, fake advertising allows an employer actually to compile CVs.
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Scammers are taking advantage of jobseekers, and companies with no interest in recruiting are advertising jobs to stack up CVs for months or even years into the future.
Advanced fee fraud is one of the UK’s most frequently reported types of job scams. Candidates are also asked to pay fake police tests and administrative or training fees. Another theft-like scam that can be used is ID. Again, uninformed job seekers can fork out significant sums.
You must always be on your toes whether you are seeking full-time employment, looking for an extra source of income, or just plainly checking the field. It is stressful enough not to spend money on your basic needs; getting swindled is even more devastating. So again, never fail to use your better judgment when looking for job opportunities.
In the end, it’s up to you. If something sounds fishy or doesn’t seem right, trust your gut and don’t respond to that ad! There are plenty of other opportunities out there for someone qualified like yourself. Good luck finding a job with better pay and benefits than this one might’ve been if they had just been upfront about their business practices from the start!